Perhaps the Beatles said it best – “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Letting go of toxic, unhealthy relationships is an important part of recovery. But learning how to let new people into our lives who can help make us better is equally important – and sometimes it’s easier said than done. For people who have never experienced healthy relationships, the process can be especially challenging.
Understand What Healthy Relationships Are
Many people in recovery come from broken relationships filled with hurt and disappointment. Some may have focused on building relationships with enablers who allowed their addiction to continue. Others get so lost in pleasing others that they lose themselves along the way.
Before you can begin to build a healthy support system, you must understand what a healthy relationship looks like. The following are important components of every healthy relationship:
- Respecting one another’s privacy and space
- Encouraging each other to spend time with people who matter to them
- Feeling comfortable in expressing one’s thoughts, concerns and opinions
- Feeling physically and mentally safe
- Respecting one another’s wishes and compromising when disagreements arise
When these components are present, relationships are likely to thrive. No relationship is perfect and challenges and disagreements will still arise – but they shouldn’t reach a point of toxicity because boundaries are set in place.
Develop Healthy Strategies
It can take some time to develop healthy strategies for relationships, especially if you didn’t grow up seeing these types of strategies in place. A toxic childhood may inherently teach someone that things like hitting, screaming, drug use, and gaslighting are normal parts of a relationship. The good news is that it’s possible to break this pattern of abuse, as long as the person is willing to change for the better.
Individual therapy and group therapy are two aspects of recovery that help teach people how to develop healthy strategies for relationships. Common topics discussed in therapy include:
- Mental health concerns like anxiety and depression
- Guilt, shame, anger, and other difficult emotions
- Abusive relationships
- Establishing boundaries
- Building friendships
Some support groups – whether they are 12-Step programs or not – can be incredibly insightful for people in recovery, allowing them to hear stories from others pursuing sobriety and learn from their experiences. It can also be helpful for a person to talk out loud about what they’ve gone through. This type of expression can be an effective way to work through and gain perspective on these issues.
Find Support Today
Every person has the potential inside them to become better. It’s up to you to take the dive and learn what’s been holding you back, so you can become better than you ever thought you could.
If you’re ready to surround yourself with people who will support you, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.
At Alta Loma, we believe in the ability of our residents to tap into their inner strength to make a change. Our goal is to provide a supportive, caring environment that empowers them to succeed. We can help you do the same. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.